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I've been seeing a lot of people on tumblr and other sites discussing the 'way that stories evolve'. Game developers, like Telltale, who excel in well, stories telling, have their two scents as well. Some I've taken to heart, some I disagree with. Don't take my words as law. But the process of a story...its really fascinating, and for some people it happens so naturally than you can tell why they say it 'grows' rather than 'improves'. But sometimes it doesn't 'grow' per say. It all depends.

I'm not an author yet, and though I'm working on a novel I've made sure not to get my hopes up. I've been told my article and peer alike that the chances it'll go anywhere are pretty much nil, so I haven't staked my life on it nor do I always feel comfortable claiming to be a 'writer' when I have nothing official done yet. People roll their eyes at non-finished writers, or at least they're the punch in Family Guy jokes a lot.

Anyway.

Most of my stories begin with characters. I think up a character, then the story comes through knitting them with other characters. Why would this guy fight this guy? What world are they in? Who do they hate, who works best together? What's the relationship? And once the characters are down it broadens out to the bigger picture; is the world under threat, why are these characters important to it? Is there even something going on beyond them?

The interactions between characters are what I picture the most, and then what a certain character SEES and experiences.

Some authors focus on the bigger picture first, and I've only done that sometimes. The premise is: someone is murdered, a detective tries to find out. Then the detective is detailed, then the murder, then the smaller details. Kinda inverted from beginning with a character.

Sometimes, and this is always a rare but fascinating occurrence for me, a story comes from a simple image. A little girl in zombie apocalypse - Telltale's amazingly successful game. A woman reaching out to a spinning wheel. Sometimes, like with Pixar, its a quirky little question - you've all heard it. What if toys...had feelings?

It always starts off simple, and sometimes I find its better to begin while its simple. Its very hard to start writing down a story when it's all planned out in your head already, its hard to sift it into the bowl so to speak. At the same time you can't be too hasty. I think out scenes, sometimes write them disjointed. My story evolves between drafts.
Sometimes I look back on my notes at how my story started out and see how big the change is, how much a character shifted. My first rendition of this figure I wrote once was a pompous, fickle and frightened man of power, who, in the second draft, turned into a far more colder, collected, but still quite pompous character, but he was more intimidating and dimensional. Its how, how characters you yourself dislike in the story grow on you after a time. While you're going you think It'll change this to this'.

Again, at other times you're more aware of a change. When something doesn't add up and you have to be pragmatic. 
 I've had to go through that, too, cutting stuff or certain characters so things will work. Sometimes you don't like the change but it grows on you, too.

So there's no one way to do it. Advice is good help, but again, no one's word is law. Sometimes you have to push yourself, other times you have to admit you're kicking a dead horse. At the same time you can't just allow yourself to give up, even if you've written the same paragraph over ten times.

Motivations in writing vary, to, and none are really bad. You want to tell a story, you want to enjoy these characters, you wrote what you wanted to read yourself but no one else had done it. So on and so on. With me, I just want to create, and share those creations. 

So there's my musings on writing.

Activity


Lifeforce Chapter 87

“The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and must therefore be treated with great caution.”

J. K. Rowling

Pin in a Needle Stack

What happened next happened quickly. Skii jumped first, body swinging from the momentum as he grasped the harness on the giant’s back, dragging himself up like a monkey so he could look over his shoulder. Then Skeet, doing the same, only clinging to the probably ten-pound or more cragmite’s side like a keychain to someone’s belt. Wilt, far bigger, wasn’t up for such protection. He slid to Clogg’s side, weapon in hand, as Skii pivoted his body to face out of their funny little circle, twirling spear in hand.

The giant let out another roar, and the thunderstruck rebels swept back into battle. Ratchet, Percy, and Tenahee at the head of it all. Or, if you looked at it another way, right in the middle of a violent charge.

Skii fired a long, lightning-like surge of energy from his spear, and Clogg stomped forward; whacking the crowd aside with a sweep of the arm. Ratchet hopped up, kicking off that same arm; Tenahee ducked, hooking her wrench onto the giant’s armguard. Percy twisted himself into an arch-position to dodge the entire thing, then scurried up the arm towards Clogg’s face - knife in hand.

Skeet struck him cleanly on the side of the neck, and he faltered – Dinkles pounced off his shoulder again, slinking up Clogg’s chest like a snake and diving away from Skeet’s swatting.

Clogg jumped off the road. Ratchet, Tenahee, and Percy were still latched onto the giant – who moved as if he were quite used to this – and they let out a unanimous yell. The cragmite landed on the lower road with a ground-cracking thud. The trio of lombaxes, with their cat-like and robotic tagalongs, made sure to scamper before Clogg decided to crush them.

Wilt was still above, and Ratchet’s stomach turned. He could hear blaster shots, lots of them, and several cries of pain. Then he heard the hunter laugh, throaty and drawn-out, and his blood boiled. That wasn’t going to fly anytime soon. He snatched up his wrench, taking aim. He tipped his wrist, once, twice, and tossed.

He had no idea how, but the wrench must have hit him. He heard the hunter give a furious yowl.

“RATCHET!”

He almost jumped. Percy was scuttling about Clogg’s peg-legs, avoiding his clubbing fists, “Snap out of it! Get the belt back!”

Oh, right. Right. Ratchet focused in on Skii, clutching the spluttering disc-container in one hand, his spear in the other. Skii saw him coming and curled his lip, moving to stash the thing into his pocket when –

FLICKER.

Ratchet skidded to a stop. The light erupted not just from the disc – but around the purple lombax, too, dancing along his torso like a faulty firework performance. Skii, Skeet, and Clogg all stiffened, the latter looked confused while the assassin and scrawny hunter appeared alarmed... then almost horrified. It was a startling expression to see on such creatures.

Skeet reeled away from Percy, who landed nearby him after evading Clogg’s next hit. “What the -?”

Dinkles bounced onto his shoulder, huffing in exasperation. Skii eyed him, then the purple nutcase, then the cat again, and Ratchet could see his expression morph as clear as day. He’d never understood the expression ‘you could read him like a book’ so thoroughly until then. Ratchet felt his eyes narrow.

He noted all that for later, and charged while the assassin was thrown off. Skii caught sight of him, but far too late. Ratchet balled his free fist and dove it right at his face. He heard his knuckles crack loudly against the cragmite’s jaw.

Skii hurtled backwards. His upper body sagged for a moment, then like a puppet on strings he dragged himself upright again. Ratchet wiped his mouth and adjusted his hold on his wrench. Tenahee was trying to bring down Clogg alongside her brother; it was just him, Clank and this jerk again.

Skii laughed, blood dribbling from his lip. Then he threw down his mask and lunged. The fight continued as it had before, block, dodge, block, dodge. All the while the disc was blinking violently, like it was trying to escape, claw its way out.

Wilt leaped down from above, several soldiers sending their goodbyes in a form of bullets. He barely seemed phased.

“Let’s BEAT IT ALREADY!” He hollered.

He snatched Skeet up clean off his feet, ( Ack!) and made a move for the street ahead.

 Percy, his fellow violent-prone ruffian, sprinted at him from the side. He jumped, aiming an airborne kick at his face. Jumping was mandatory in dealing with cragmites. Skii glanced their way, then at Ratchet. The lombax grit his teeth. If they fled now, they’d never catch up to them.

He needed to get the disc back.

It was like it heard him. One moment, it was blinking. The next, the glow was growing. Skii’s head turned, Ratchet could see his unease in the way his earfins winced. The fighting paused as all parties pivoted around to stare; Skeet crammed his hand into his mouth.

“Skii, get rid –“

The disc’s glass crack vanished, sealing shut, perfectly smooth. A blast of blue sent all of their knees knocking. Ratchet fell, but dug his hands into the soil to keep himself from being thrown back by the gust. Skii skidded back along the road, and the disc flew from his hand. Ratchet saw it hit the floor and he launched himself forward, cupping the container in both hands. Clank gave a ‘breath’ of relief, but a second later another wave blasted over them.

 Ratchet screwed his eyes shut, tear ducts stinging with the cold.

Skii gave a yelp. Was he in pain, or just getting thrown off? Ratchet got to his feet, he had no idea what state the others where in -

 Percy gagged, behind him, and doubled over as another ripple of light swept across the area. Skii flicked his head from side to side, neck popping, and reached into his pocket. He whipped something out.

Ratchet saw something black, sharp and purple glisten between his fingers, and the light repelled. A sharp, tidy blur of purple ignited around him, and Ratchet had to pull his body over the disc to keep it from flying out of his grasp. The light sucked itself back into the little container, like a snail being poked in the eye.

For a moment, nothing happened. Everyone stared, out of breath and panting, at Ratchet and Skii. Clank’s optics focused in one the thing in the assassin’s clasp – a small black shard, adorned with bright purple veins.

Dinkles tucked himself behind Percy’s shoulder, cringing.

Ratchet was on his feet (again), and the two glowered at each other.  “...What’s that?”

“Put two and two together, Tinkerbelle.” Skii muttered, morbidly. He lifted his arm and made an odd, quick gesture with his fingers. Wilt, Clogg and Skeet regrouped behind him before the lombaxes could catch their breath. Skii gave Ratchet one last glare before turning away.

Ratchet looked over his shoulder. Imperial Cruisers were closing in on the city, he could see them. He swore, loudly.

The cragmites fled. Clank watched them go, Skii being the last to sprint away. On Clogg’s back he saw a tiny figure turn his head, having remained hidden throughout the whole thing, and stare back at him for as long as he remained in eyesight.

Clank said nothing of it, and moved back to Ratchet.

“Tachyon must know we are here. We cannot stay.”

Percy was eyeing the skyline, Dinkles fiddling with his paws. “...Those cruisers are heading for the base. We’ll have to deal with the oddballs later.”

He took off, back towards the camp. Ratchet and Tenahee shared an uncertain look.

...

The camera focused in on the retreating cragmite’s backs. Tachyon’s ugly, stretched face was illuminated by the screen light in a most unflattering way. His scowl deepened, if possible. “Have this instectasoid cam follow them.”

The Loki quirked a brow, wielding a new teacup. The steam rose steadily through his fingers as he turned to face him, “Oh? I thought you’d enjoy watching their camp getting sacked.”

The camera robot scuttled with remarkable speed, overtaking the fleeing four in a matter of minutes, leaping between walls. The image zoomed in and focused on the assassin’s – Skii’s, as Tachyon recalled – pale face. He looked a great mess. He felt fury bubble beneath his skin again.

He did not, on any account, like having the wool pulled over his eye. “He discovered something and deliberately kept it from me.”

The Loki seemed more preoccupied with what the assassin had stashed back into his pocket. “That shard of his – it houses Loki Essence, though how, I have no idea.”

He saw Tachyon glance his way and was all too happy to elaborate, “Our physical energy remains attached to our bodies, far more rigid than our counterpart’s lifeforce. Any essence separated from its host fades in a matter of minutes.”

“Then it must have been modified.” Tachyon sneered, before slamming a fist down on a control button. “Where is that oaf Nefarious?!”

The Loki had to admit, Tachyon’s theory had a point. His nose wrinkled at the mention of the robot, “He claims to be working on something that’ll insure our victory.”

Tachyon made some unintelligent grunt of anger. “My fleet will gut the rebels, and we’ll keep an eye on this...oddball and his little gang.” Tachyon was glaring at Skii with a cold find of fury that almost put the Loki on edge. Almost.

The scrawny little hunter with the pathetic arm finally broke his group’s silence. The sound on the camera was mediocre at best, but they caught it. Tachyon’s eyes narrowed.

“Holy Gatang, that was mental!” He half-shrieked.

“Maybe if you hadn’t spilt the beans so early.” The eye-patch one drawled, shoving past. Skii ran a hand over his head fins, scowling,

“Enough, you clods, I’m trying to figure this out!”

“What do you think I’ve been doing?” A pair of mismatched arms were flung in the air, “They STILL think the Lifeforce can be channelled! It can’t, and they don’t know why because I had to wait for you to get back!”

Tachyon’s blink betrayed him. What...?

“You really think them knowing would stop them?” Skii drawled at the frantic hunter, tugging a tourniquet over his bleeding arm. “No. It can’t be stopped, can’t be channelled, so we’ll bury it before for another thousand-odd years!”

“What about the Emperor?” The eye-patch ruffian muttered from nearby. The smaller open started biting down on his knuckles. The assassin turned his head,

“What the Emperor doesn’t know won’t hurt him, for now.”

Tachyon’s fingers curled. Was that so?

Tachyon’s upper body twisted around and he bellowed violently at a nearby lackey, “Call in Lieutenant Krez! I want all four of them dragged in here by their head-fins!” Another slam on the controls of the throne.

How dare they? He should have known that skinny little assassin was up to something. He’d saved their entire species and he repaid it with secrecy?

And what for?

Well, he thought, allowing himself to calm down and perhaps, even smirk. He’d find out. The cragmite was actually looking forward to a little chat with this ruffian. The camera remained on the younger insectasoid, who was eyeing the outskirts of the city with an unusually intense expression.

In that very area that was being secretly captured on a villainous tape, Skeet was catching his breath as quickly as possible. “That book they had – I managed to read some of it, and –“

“You didn’t find anything, from what I heard outside.” Skii drawled, stretching. Skeet eyed him, as if spying on him - even when he was a prisoner of the enemy - was still an annoyance.

Then he grinned, the closest thing to smugness someone like him could get. “Actually, I heh...left some things out.”

Wilt and Skii ogled at him. Clogg, who was peering at a nearby lizard, looked simply because they had. Then, the former two’s lips pulled into identical smirks.

“Soo...what did the book say?”

“They knew – er – about her. About how she was different from all the others.” He swallowed, suddenly seeming a lot less confident. “That’s...that isn’t all, Skii. I think I know what the ‘limit’ is now. It’s not just about the Lifeforce, but the Loki Essence as well.”

The Loki, and Tachyon, had been frozen stiff during the whole tirade. The teacup was lowered down from the former’s lips.

Skii’s smile faded. “Limit? What happens after this – limit?”

Skeet opened his mouth.

“There they are!”

“Shoot!” Skii turned on his proverbial heel, “Let’s move!”

Wilt grumbled something about how they should actually shoot at them before the little gang took off again. Tachyon growled. The Loki sent him a wry look,

“That was informative. Seems they know more than they care to share.”

“Not for long.” Tachyon sat back, placing his hands together in feigned indifference. “They’ll be sharing whatever they know with me soon. Little gang of ruffians...”

...

Skii wouldn’t lie. He felt pissed. The factory’s ambient sounds faded behind him, and he was back on the road; rocky walls flanking him on either side, pipes humming vaguely in the chilly air. The path was steep on cragmite legs but it was the shortest way to the palace. He had to come clean to the Emperor. He drew a hand over his brow, sweat thickening moment by moment. His hands were freezing compared to his forehead. He frowned, confused, but continued on.

Then, an uncomfortable feeling came over him. Something like unease or nausea, but less physical. Nerves weren’t a cragmite thing, not in the ‘freaking out’ department. For them, instincts said fight, dodge, attack. They didn’t say run.

Skii ignored it, scowled and turned his head. Darkness shrouded the path, and though he couldn’t see any smog the lights seemed to be dimming. Faltering, in and out. The glow of the pipes, the reflection the due had on the leaves, all of them were...

His upper body pivoted.

Behind him, in the ground, was ice. From it, an arm tore though, soil flying. Fingers dug into the dirt, dragging something up out of the floor. Skii’s vision blurred.

His hand reached for his spear, senses sharpening. He took aim, fired, and the arm tore in two. He blinked. Ice again? It was made of ice?

Another broke out from the wall beside him, and another on the one opposite. He spun his spear, hacking through them. Another erupted behind him, clawing at his back. He stamped down on it with a total of three legs; the result like a blade of grass getting impaled by a pin. More composed, he inhaled and shot another when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye –

BRRR.

A shield bounced up, grey and circular. Skii stopped. The dimness had gone; the lights almost blinded him in comparison. Standing on a rock nearby, hands behind its back and head tilted to one side, was that eerily little cat-creature, grinning with sharp little teeth.

She yawned, theatrically. “And here I thought we’d hit it off. You cragmites are trigger happy to a fault. Suppose you and the lombaxes have something in common.”

Skii’s nose wrinkled. He started dusting off his shoulder, “What are you, the fair godmother’s bitter sister in law?”

The cat’s lip coiled. “I’m afraid I’m more of the arbiter of doom.”

“Did they run out of carrier pigeons?”

“No, just planets.”

Skii closed his mouth. Trisby tilted her head oh-so-sweetly, and shrugged.

“It’s not my loss that an entire duo species was wiped out in a second, that is, if there wasn’t residue left behind.” Her smile vanished so quickly it almost made the assassin jump. And aside from lately, he didn’t usually jump.

He loathed that...knowing look of hers. He scowled. “So...let me go out on a limb here, that lady I saw is the ‘residue?’ Is she even alive?”

“Hmm, it’s not really a she anymore, as I said,  so don’t think you can reason with her.” Skii’s lip curled despite himself.

“Cragmites aren’t a fan of reason.”

She was grinning again. “Oh, I know that. But soon you’ll be getting very acquainted with the idea – most people do when they have no option left.”

Skii’s smile faded. It was like their grins were on scales, swinging up and down. “...What do you want?”

“I want you to draw her out, seeing as she’s interested in you and your glass-like face, Pretty Boy.” She didn’t keep the disdain out of her voice – and Skii couldn’t keep the shock out of his face. But before he could retaliate she went on, “Your species caused all this, now you have to put the lid on this bursting jar of chaos.”

“I didn’t do this!” Skii snapped back, bewilderment forgotten for the sake of anger. “I had nothing to do with it!”

“But you know the kook that did.” The cat tipped her head back and forth with each word, “I don’t care which one of you planned it, and neither will ‘she’.”

She straightened up and began striding away, hopping off the rock. Skii watched her all the while, as if not blinking would save him from another surprise exit. She stopped.

“Oh. And by the way...If you see anything purple...don’t touch it.”

And she was gone. Skii’s breathe stifled. Oh come on. He hadn’t even blinked!

...

Their run had dissolved into a walk eventually. The rebels had other stuff on their minds. Skeet looked over his shoulder for the fortieth time, as Phobose emerged from Clogg’s pack and started bashing his ships together, humming.

“That could have gone better.”

“Least they’re out of our hair. Or we’re outa theirs. Pah.” Wilt drawled, biting down on an unfortunate apple. The crunch echoed loudly through the desolate street. Skii, taking up the lead, kept his gaze ahead, body stiff. The small inventive hunter cleared his throat, jogging to catch up with him.

“So...what do we do, now that they know?”

“We get the artefact back.” Wilt and Skeet shared a glance. Clogg didn’t seemed perturbed. Phobose noticed the brothers’ pause and lowered his ships.

“Is that a good thing, Uncle Skii?”

“It’s not a good or bad thing. Phobose.” The assassin returned, kicking aside what remained of a bench. His gang watched it tumble down a nearby stairway quietly.

Clunk-clunk- clang –

“Chill.” Wilt drawled, taking another equally loud bite. Skeet made an indignant noise of frustration.

“Mmm. Skii, you do know that – that would mean stealing it from the Emperor.”

Skii flashed a half-grin, one Wilt returned – not because he agreed, but because he thought the idea of stealing was rather entertaining. “I’d call it reasonable relocation, seeing as it’s the literal Pandora’s box.”

“Who’s Pandora?”

“Clogg –“

“Friend of the woman?”

“Wouldn’t be surprised.” Wilt muttered, scratching his head. “So won’t Emps be a little tighter on his security right now? Doubt he’ll let us waddle in. Not a good idea, Skii, especially with you...”

“Indeed.”

A new voice had crooned its way into their midst. Wilt’s hand stiffened, half-lowered, half lifted. “...”

They were surrounded in a snap of toting guns. Red aiming dots powdered their faces from all angles. None of the hunters or warriors compared to Wilt or Clogg in size...but darn. They’d been sneaky. Skeet bit down on his hand again. Phobose had ducked away from sight.

Skii’s head remained bent, his hands balled as a familiar figure stamped its way into view. Tachyon smirked down at him. He looked about as happy as a spider that had caught itself a fly.

“How nice to see you again, Dear Boy.”

Skii’s look grew dark.

Cold. Legs dragging. Arms, neck, all of it, aching. Chill in the fingers, but something warm was trickling down his neck, on the back of his head. The world blossomed out of the darkness; he saw his own hands, arms hanging by his beak. He flexed his fingers. Memories came back to him, one by one, each hammering hard into his ribs and snatching his breath clean away.

SkekSept lifted his head. Pain thrummed in his skull. He saw halls. Pillars. Flickering second-hand light, and at once he knew where he was, he knew this smell of must and this stale air, and empty corridors filled with unease. He was suddenly aware that he was being half-carried, a pair of arms slung around his waist and dragging him like a sack of flour. He pulled his legs up and tried to regain his feet, but they seemed to slip out from beneath him.

A turn of his chin, and he saw the Chamberlain, clutching him to his chest and looking onward. He hadn’t noticed he was awake, but he would, soon, SkekSept’s mind burst with horror and he yanked himself back –

Not fast enough. The rag-clad elder gave a loud, shrill noise of alarm and wrenched him back, his grip digging painfully into his side. SkekSept tried to elbow him, but he was all turned out, dizzy, his arms felt boneless.

The other skeksis yanked him further down the hall. SkekSept dug his feet down; the sound of his skin scraping across the floor rang out like a squeak, “You –“

You.

He hurt UrSaat.

He killed –

Chest tight, horror flooding, senses dousing in it, his legs almost buckled again. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t...

SkekSil crooned, that horrible, hateful mewling sound, and tugged him onward down the hall. He’d gone limp again, almost; SkekSept gripped his face, his beak, as his entire body trembled.

But then. Something unfamiliar, a burning sensation he’d never felt, blasted through his veins, riding on his blood. SkekSept’s hands fell away from his face, and balled into fists. Tighter, until his knuckles hurt. But his legs weren’t working yet, not yet –

“Chamberlain -?”

“Chamberlain – Get out, get out!”

Those voices. The bulky one and the one with all the jewels and flitter, they’d come around the corner. SkekSil looked over his shoulder at them. The boy tried to take this moment to wriggle away, but once again he was hoisted back and into view. SkekEkt and SkekAyuk reeled.

“The young thing!” The ornamentalist shrieked, aghast; hand over heart as if he were poisonous. SkekAyuk didn’t fare much better, but their glares replaced their alarm momentarily. SkekSil hummed delightedly to himself. SkekSil struggled; trying to pry his hands away but still he couldn’t so much as lighten the grip.

The two newcomers watched, leaning in but keeping a good yard between their pairs, as if they were curious but too affronted to draw near to him. SkekSept looked their way, face frozen, but they looked back at him in that strange, aloof way, like they saw him far differently than he saw them.

They followed, at a distance, as SkekSil dragged him forward. The youth knew this archway, the throne room was up ahead. And, with an eerie sensation that this had happened all before, he found himself back amidst the crowd of those he decided he loathed.

They were all gaping again, The Emperor’s spectre almost slipped out of his gnarly grasp. The Ritual Master looked insulted as well as taken aback. Several furious mutters sprung up in the huddle, but SkekSept didn’t care to listen. He tried to shake the Chamberlain off again, his attempts growing desperate, to no avail.

The boy’s scowl was making his brow ache, no matter how much he trembled.

“Mmm. Your Majesty.” SkekSil purred, bowing briefly – he pulled SkekSept with him and he hated him – “I bring you...the boy.”

SkekTek and SkekUng exchanged incredulous looks, as the gourmand and his companion rejoined their midst. “...!”

Kill him!” SkekNa yelled, suddenly. “He’s caused too much trouble, away with the waif!”

“Get rid of him, Sire!” SkekUng bellowed, slamming a fist down on the unfortunate side of the throne. SkekSo didn’t appreciate that, hissing his way,

“General...!”

“Let us take his essence, first!”

SkekSil’s arm drew around SkekSept’s shoulders, pulling him close again – the boy cringed, horrified, but he couldn’t move. Essence? What was essence? “Nay! I decide!”

SkekSo stood up, slowly. The quiver in his arms as he heaved himself up didn’t go unnoticed. SkekSept felt a frown, his own to match the Emperor’s, mould clumsily onto his face.

“You have defied us too much, boy.”

The sceptre glinted as it was brandished. “SkekTek.” He turned his narrow head towards the scientist, whose smirk grew horribly wide. SkekAyuk and SkekEkt actually looked afraid.

At this unsaid command, the scientist moved forward. SkekSept looked back, up at SkekSil, eyes wide. A cheer rang up, loud, cackling, the others were ecstatic.

SkekSil looked a little taken back, too. For a moment, perhaps the briefest second, he looked hesitant. But then SkekTek’s good hand grasped the boy’s shoulder, and he let him go.

“And while you’re at it, return the Chamberlain’s robes to him...”

That did it.

SkekSept threw himself away from them both, kicking with as much strength as he had. The sleeve of his robe tore and he barrelled onto the floor with a thud. Most of the surrounding elders jumped.

He leaped to his feet, stumbling, but managing to keep his balance. He threw out an arm – SkekOk and SkekShod, closest to him, actually winced – and the boy forced his lungs to work into words.

“I will not be dragged or dealt with anymore!” He yelled, his voice cracking, deeper. “I’ve had it!”

They all growled, all at once, a collection or arghs and hisses of...surprise? What were they so alarmed by, it was just him. SkekSept.

In his mind, though, an image appeared. Of the Other, golden-feathered, pale-eyed and frightening. A vicious creature that clawed, bit, and pounded.

He also saw UrSaat’s bruises the image clean in his head. SkekSept lowered his arms, slowly, glancing at each of them one by one. Then he looked at his hands, all four of them, and curled them back into fists.

“What are you all so...afraid of?”

It was like something had...flickered. Something changed, in the air. SkekSept raised his head and saw all of them staring right into him, and their expressions, the way they looked changed.

SkekUng snarled. He began storming forward, and the others goaded him on, yelling for the boy’s blood, the Emperor made no move to halt him. SkekSept stepped back, once, twice, again, horror sweeping across his face again.

“RAAAAAAAAARRRGGHHHH!”

It split the air. It tore at the smog. The shriek made their entire bones rattle. Everyone present, every beak, jerked upwards to look at it. A figure standing on top of the high, high throne, frame outlined by the torchlight and flickering lightning outside. SkekSept soft gasp rang out, barely audible.

The other ended his screech, double over again, and hissed.

Panic erupted.

“Two of them!”

“They will destroy us!”

SkekSept felt his body grow light. The other was living. So...that meant...

UrSaat was...

He breathed. And the other leaped down from above, landed in a crouch with a crack. All but SkekSept drew back. Instead, the other youth swallowed and stood his ground, however shaky that may be.

Why had they come?

“You...” SkekSept murmured, as quietly as possible. The other was eyeing, or the sightless equivalent. He has their full attention, either way. SkekSo pressed himself against the back of his throne, the two youths between him and the circling others. He looked infuriated as well as frazzled.

The golden-rod youth drew nearer, one arm acting as a third leg, closer. SkekSept took but one step back, arms rising.

“We are the same. It’s us and them. You and me, UrSaat and...”

Onze.

Behind him, unseen by the two, the elders looked horrified. The golden youth growled, lowly, to themselves. SkekSept smiled the best he could. “I am SkekSept, and you, you are...”

The beast snarled. The boy almost drew back, but then he spoke again. “Hdax. Hdax...”

His beak turned, his attention moved. SkekSept could almost feel it turned away from him...to the crowd behind him, SkekUng, the loud one, and the others. The teal youth turned to face, them, too, as SkekHdax drew up straighter.

The elders gawked at them. Then, the General’s face contorted in fury.

“GARTHIM!”

SkekSept balled his fists, and SkekHdax readied himself with a guffaw. 

One Made Two - A Skeksis Fanfic
So that was a wait...and I'm afraid they'll be another one for a while. I'll maybe post a doodle now and again, but as I said somewhere before, I've gotten busy again. These past two months of non-stop Art have come to an end. Before that I BARELY came on this site. 

I won't forget about these series, nor would I call it an official 'hiatus' or anything. I'll just keep you guys posted ^^ I have a vague idea of an ending, and of where the story would go, but there's not enail detail in the noggin right now for another couple of shorts.

This takes place directly after 'Sundered and Undone'.


- Mediocre Conjunction
- Not A Bad Idea At All
- And Now There Are More Than Ten
- A Dying Sight
- Chamber of Balance
- Kneel, Leap, Bow
- Like the Worms We Are
- The Crystal Sings
- Give His Robes To Him (Loosely)
- The Wrong Way to Say 'Thank You'
- A Hum Of ForgetFulness
- How Crude
- We Will Destroy Us
- Sundered and Undone
- One Made Two
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'Oh Come On!' Animation Test
Lately I've really been 'going at it' with art because I've been trying to teach myself the proper process of it, and I became interested in animation. Here I tried to use 'pose to pose' (Drawing three images then going in between) as well as 'anticipation' which is like the character leaning back a bit before they go forward (Here, instead of just raising their arms I had the arms bounce downward again for emphasis.)

I began with stick figures, then turned it into a mannequin figure. Maybe I'll manage another layer for a face and clothes XD
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It was dark and the night was humid, the forest trees grew ever-so-slightly, and gradually, sparser. With every mile. They had stopped to rest, for the fifth time that day. UrSaat was asleep, and SkekSept was staring into the darkness. Crestfallen didn’t even begin to describe him. The quiver of the jungle, the jeer of its animals, it all synchronised in a way that made the quiet between them all the more notable. SkekSept’s eyes fell, reluctantly the Chamberlain noted, to the mystic. His chest rose and fell, steady and strong, but the bruises on his long arms looked worse than ever. Dots were nails had dug into his counterpart’s arm.

Nails on hands, hands SkekSept stared down at next, oddly still. Usually the boy was shaking, fidgeting, peering around like a hatchling. But now he could’ve been a statue in the dark, with how wide his eyes were.

“Mmmmmm.”

His eyes flickered towards him, and SkekSil beamed, smoothly. “He does not blame you. You shouldn’t burden yourself with such things.” Especially when you had so much more to worry about, he crooned in his head.

“...Thank you.”

“Hmmm?”

SkekSept’s brow crinkled, as if he were still half-confused. “That’s what you say, isn’t it? When you’re...happy that someone’s done something?”

“Gratitude.” SkekSil crooned in confirmation. What a lovely opportunity. He stood, and came to sit by the youth once more. The fire, rather weak-willed, swayed unevenly in the night air. SkekSept didn’t flinch away. He didn’t really budge at all. “Though I’m inclined to know why. My presence is a gift enough, I know...”

An odd, reluctant smile passed over the youth’s face, as if he was amused – but very unsure of why he found the elder’s words funny. His mind only picked the wit halfway. The beam was gone very soon, though. “You helped me. Stop...them.”

Them? Ah. The Other. Unnamed. Would he ever comb a name from his shattered memories, as all the skeksis had – SkekSept included? He glanced, less kindly, at the sleeping UrRu. UrSaat had claimed his name, so the other would have the other fragment. Hm.

No time to dwell over the names. His smile stretched silkily across his beak, “You are welcome. Hmm.”  Affable, always. The youth heaved a sigh, and went quiet, watching the leaves curling into ash by the fire.

“...Why are we here, SkekSil?”

Hearing his name so informally jarred him, breaking him out of his poise for a moment. SkekSil blinked, before resuming his calm motive, turning his head towards the sky. “I do not know. You two came here whole, for something. Perhaps curious. Hmm.” He almost chuckled, then, but decided not to. Curiosity. If anything should be named a vice, it should be that!

“Whole.” SkekSept murmured. It sounded like a lament.

SkekSil’s eye slid back towards him, with a hidden sharpness the boy didn’t see. That idea wouldn’t do at all. “You are free now, and a different being. It is time to move on ahead.” SkekSept’s eyes drifted to him, and he didn’t blink. That could have been a slip up.

But the boy’s attention returned to his UrRu, any suspicion that existed evaporating. A more sullen look crossed his silvery beak. “...I’m so lost in this world. I relied on UrSaat, but he doesn’t know all. No one does.”

SkekSil did not answer. He wasn’t quite sure he was meant to. “All will become clear soon. Mmmmmm.”

Another odd smile. SkekSept glanced at him, “Why do you, um, do that?”

SkekSil’s smile remained very much the same, though his eyes narrowed perhaps. “Expression.” And that was to it. SkekSept sighed, quietly, setting his hands on his lap. “I hope it is soon rather than later.”

Oh, dear child, SkekSil thought, staring into the dark, It shall be.

SkekSept’s eyes fell, eventually, and he nodded off – still sitting upright. The Chamberlain left him be. He looked between him and the UrRu, allowing his smile to grow crooked. Mangled teeth grunted, briefly, in the firelight.

Soon indeed.

...

Early morning came, and they wandered again. SkekSil oh-so-subtly taking the lead as SkekSept occupied himself with helping UrSaat along. He could barely keep his head up, with the taller’s arms strung over his nimble, scrawny shoulders. “Chamberlain.” He called, unevenly, “Is there somewhere to rest nearby?”

“Oh, yes.” They elder crooned from ahead. “I know this trail. MmmmMmm.” He was getting further and further ahead. The ground had grown dryer, the trees spaced out, but still they cut off the immediate few. SkekSept couldn’t concentrate on that. UrSaat wasn’t speaking much. He simply allowed himself to be half-carried along. Where was SkekSil?

He could only really look at his feet, and below his feet was rock. “UrSaat?” He inquired, voice raising an octave higher in worry. His companion didn’t answer. “SkekSil?” Louder still.

A rocky muddle of moss, bushes and heather towered up ahead, sprouting between the cracks. A thin line of trees blocked the trail before him. SkekSept huffed, growing breathless, and heaved his companion onward. Through the trees, he peered around. “Chamberlain...?”

His voice died. His body went rigid. The forest cut off entirely here, just...stopping. A steep slope, and then flat, barren land going on for miles. And it was all too familiar.

There was the castle, sitting upon the torn wasteland. They’d been led right back to it.

SkekSept was too busy gaping in horror to think. Wh...wh...but –

Something hit him roughly from the side, knocking him over. UrSaat fell from his grip and tumbled out of sight. Harsh rock collided painfully with the youth’s side, and he screwed his eyes shut to force off the jar. Then he pried them open, giving a start. The Chamberlain loomed over him, it was like an entirely different being had arisen, shred from the skin he’d been wearing for days. SkekSept tried to scramble back upright, but his legs failed him. “Y-you...”

“Come, now, there is no other way.” The Chamberlain breathed, reaching down, SkekSept recoiled away from the bony hand as much as he could, “You must come, now. Don’t flee!”

SkekSept wrenched himself back to his feet, but the claw-like fingers dug into his shoulder, impossible tight, surprisingly strong, old and frail SkekSil was stronger still. He squirmed, trying to throw himself back. “S-stop!”

He dug his feet into the rock, but the Chamberlain mercilessly tugged him forward.  

He couldn’t go back to the castle. Panic, swelling, bubbling, he knew what would happen if he returned. His voice broke. “Please! Stop!”

A figure threw itself at the Chamberlain from behind, wielding a rock – and brought it down on his arm. The skeksis hollered, his voice tearing at SkekSept’s eardrums, but even then he did let go. He swerved, rounding on UrSaat, half-bent, blind eyes wide.

SkekSil stared, aghast, at the blood dribbling down his shoulder. Then he jerked,

“UrRu!” He screeched, infuriated, SkekSept’s petrified look flickered between them –

“You die!”

SkekSil shoved the mystic back. And he fell back, down the high slope. SkekSept felt something in him turn to ice.

No!”

He hurtled himself forward to follow, to see, to do something...but the Chamberlain’s arms circled around his waist and practically hoisted him back. His voice hitched in his throat, he tried to hit him, but he couldn’t see him properly. “No – let me go! Chamberlain, why -?”

Behind him, SkekSil had curled his hand around a rock, and lifted it high. In a fluid sweep he cracked it over the back of the boy’s head, nowhere near enough to kill him...but enough to make him go as limp as a doll in his arm. SkekSil shifted him in his grip, and began dragging him along. The youth’s feet ran loosely across the stone.

It would be difficult to get him all the way to the castle, but SkekSil was more resilient than most gave him credit for. And the skinny little waif wasn’t that heavy. It had been terribly easy, so easy he scarcely dwelled on it.

Down the other slope, less hazardous, half-carrying the boy with him. Hmm. If the UrRu had perished...then the other one would’ve dropped down dead somewhere.

Perhaps that solved two problems at once, that ferocious little beast was of no valid use. He’d be sure to remind his fellows of that.

To the castle he went. Lightning quivered in the distance.

 

Sundered and Undone - A Dark Crystal Fanfic
Why do we love the Chamberlain? Because of the funny whimper, the sneakiness? No.
Because he's a complete and utter bastard. 
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Childhood Re-Draw Two - Mik by What-if-Writer
Childhood Re-Draw Two - Mik
I did the ink of this a while okay, finished it now. Mik, Mik...another doodle story from my childhood. Basically, a girl living in a kind of boarding house, in service or something (Think 1800s.) Is turned into a rat, and finds one of those little 'rat worlds' hidden in the house. Only its Secret-Oh-Nimh kind of vibe with creepy, vicious ways of life and bad guys everyone. No cutesy Disney musicals there.

With me, I tend to go back-and-forth on what I'm working on(picture, drawing) in my free time because of my short attention span. Maybe If I took more time with these they'd turn out better but oh well XD
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Unialien Featured By Owner May 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconblinkthanksfavplz: so much for +fav my creation! Love

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Bullet; Yellow Jellyfish Alien (Luminous Transparent Jellynoid)

If you really like my creation, then you can check my gallery of sci-fi creations of creatures and more! Alien Your gonna love them! Love
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Chernabog71 Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
 thanks
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larry3000 Featured By Owner May 1, 2016
Thanks for the favorite! :)
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What-if-Writer Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2016
Whoa - pretty epic. You're welcome.
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Silvermoonlight Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thxs for the fav :D
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You are welcome :boogie:
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hey yo 
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Yo :la:
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